Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Still more gratuitous cruelty

There are two issues on which I am uncompromising: Marriage equality and immigration equality, because both issues affect me personally and both issues underscore how GLBT people in the US are second-class (at best) citizens.

One of those second-class Americans, Mike Williams, is running for a seat in the US House of Representatives from the state of Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District. He’s gay and he and his partner are a bi-national couple. Williams’ partner faces deportation at the end of September because their relationship cannot be recognised for immigration purposes due to the infamous “Defense” of Marriage Act. This is yet another example of the US’ gratuitous cruelty toward gay bi-national couples.

In this video, Williams talks with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts about that situation. He also explains how he and his partner have not married in Connecticut, one of a handful of states with marriage equality, because to do so would endanger his partner’s chances of staying in the US. Actually, if he’d said they were simply engaged, rather than close to it, that statement would be used against them by US immigration authorities. Another layer of gratuitous cruelty.

I reiterate, as I so often do, that many countries in the world have moved well past this and have full immigration equality, whether or not they have marriage equality. For example, Canada has both, New Zealand has immigration equality and marriage-like civil unions and Australia has only immigration equality. The issues don’t have to be linked or fixed at the same time.

However, the US steadfastly refuses to move forward on either issue. Republicans and conservatives generally (particularly religious extremists) have been fighting hard to prevent either in the US, and they win despite the fact that majority of Americans don’t agree with the rightwingers on these issues.

Meanwhile, the gratuitous cruelty continues, and so will my highlighting of it.

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